Will the waves dissipate? The vaccine roll-out
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    Will the waves dissipate? The vaccine roll-out

    Russel Chesler, Director, Investments & Portfolio Strategy
    08 February 2021
    Now that the vaccines are being rolled out, the answer to what is on the horizon may have to do with Romania, Iceland and the Seychelles.

    In Arian Neiron’s Vector Insights, The waves of a pandemic: Lessons from the past, Arian warned investors about the waves of a pandemic.

    So what do Romania, Iceland and the Seychelles have in common?

    Well it is not climate.

    They are all accepting tourists who have had a COVID 19 vaccine. This is just an initial glimpse of what is to come as economies start to open.

    Those that have a ‘half-empty-glass’ view of the world believe that life will never be the same again post-COVID 19. They remain under invested, shunning opportunities.

    Life may not return exactly the same as before, but we think as the vaccine rolls out our lifestyle, and thus the global economy will be a lot closer to pre-COVID 19 than the current situation.

    When it comes to COVID 19, bad news in the press far outweighs good news. Recent stories include the anger and grief as United Kingdom's death toll nears 100,000, the EU threatening to impose export controls on COVID vaccines and the US surpasses 25 million cases - a staggering tally

    However there is good news.

    About 80 million vaccination doses have already been administered. While the global population is close to 7.8 billion, it does represent a good start. The vaccines are initially being distributed to those in the healthcare sector and individuals who are more vulnerable to the virus. This should reduce hospitalisations and the death rate. According to modelling posted on the medRxiv database vaccinating 40% of the US population will reduce the infection rate by 75%.

    A good practical example is Israel. In Israel over 60% of the population has received at least one vaccination dose and they lead the world at the moment in terms of percentage of population who have been administered with the vaccine.

    Figure 1: Share of people who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

    Source: Our World in Data, European CDC for EU countries, government sources. To 7 February 2020. This is counted as a single dose, and may not equal the total number of people vaccinated, depending on the specific dose regime (e.g. people receive multiple doses).

    And already there has been a noticeable drop in hospitalisations.

    Figure 2: Number of COVID-19 patients in hospital

    Source: Our World in Data, European CDC for EU countries, government sources. To 3 February 2020.

    As existing vaccine production ramps up and alternative vaccines become available more countries should follow a similar trajectory. Until sufficient proportion of a country’s population has been vaccinated there is still a risk of further waves of infection, especially if measures such as lockdown and social distancing are relaxed too quickly.

    We are still in for a ride with some bumps, but a successful vaccine rollout may change the glass to being half full.

    Issued by VanEck Investments Limited ACN 146 596 116 AFSL 416755 (‘VanEck’). This is general advice only, not personal financial advice. It does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the PDS and speak with a financial adviser to determine if the fund is appropriate for your circumstances. The PDS is available here.